|Birth Day:||March 4, 1926|
|Birth Place:||Grand Rapids, United States|
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He served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II.
DeVos and his school friend Jay Van Andel founded Amway in 1959 as a multi-level marketing business to distribute cleaning products, following the business model they had observed in a previous venture together. They ran the business together, expanding it over the decades into an international distributor of a wide variety of products.
He co-founded the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, an American conservative foundation and grant-making body in 1970. It is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The DeVoses were known in their philanthropy for contributing to education, health care, arts and historic causes like Mount Vernon, and conservative think tanks such as The Heritage Foundation and AEI. Education-related philanthropy included the Richard M. and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Grand Valley State University, the Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse at Hope College and the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Arts and Worship at Grand Rapids Christian Schools. The Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation was in part responsible for funding the creation of the Sport Business Management Program at the University of Central Florida.
DeVos was a major donor to the U.S. Republican Party and to conservative causes, including Focus on the Family, and the American Enterprise Institute. DeVos supported the candidacies of Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. DeVos has served as a finance chairman for the Republican National Committee. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan appointed DeVos to the President's Commission on the HIV Epidemic, and was criticized at the time for characterizing people with AIDS as wanting "special treatment". He was a dedicated opponent of marriage equality for LGBT people.
DeVos was the owner of the NBA team Orlando Magic, having bought the team in 1991 for $85 million. He became interested in the team after an unsuccessful effort to acquire a Major League Baseball expansion franchise for Orlando.
Books written by him include Compassionate Capitalism and Hope From My Heart: Ten Lessons For Life. The latter reflects his feelings after successfully undergoing a heart transplant operation in the United Kingdom in 1997 after being turned down for a transplant in the US because of his age and diabetes. This was preceded by two heart-bypass operations in 1983 and 1992. In 1975, DeVos published a book about his success, co-authored with Charles Paul Conn, titled Believe!. In 2014 he published his memoirs, titled Simply Rich.
He died at his home in Ada, Michigan on September 6, 2018, at the age of 92.
Currently, Richard Devos is 96 years, 2 months and 14 days old. Richard Devos will celebrate 97th birthday on a Saturday 4th of March 2023.
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